Don’t be a Dope around Marijuana

A while back I wrote about teens and marijuana in a piece entitled “Legalization Doesn’t Make Marijuana A Good Idea for Teens“, talking about the dilemma of raising two teenagers and living in a state that has legalized retail marijuana for adults over the age of 21. As with so many other topics, it’s hard to explain to a child why when they wake up on the “other side” of a specific anniversary of their birth they can suddenly walk into a store and buy weed, but before that day it’s illegal. Like alcohol. Like cigarettes. Like voting and registration for the armed services.

we all want our children to grow up to be happy, healthy and productiveThe answer “that’s just the way it is” doesn’t go very far, so I wanted to come back to the topic in this follow-up piece and talk about a more pragmatic aspect of marijuana legalization, one that doesn’t affect me directly but might be really important for you: safe storage. It needs to out of sight and out of reach of children. And, it’s best to keep it in locked up and in the child resistant packaging it comes in from the store.

See? It’s not glamorous. You can’t make jokes about baked goods or amusing puns about roaches and roach clips. It’s just the day-to-day reality of marijuana legalization: a lot of people who otherwise aren’t used to having limited substances in their homes, or might not really think about it.

But with the holidays coming up, it’s quite possible that you and your children will be heading to someone’s house where they do have marijuana and if they aren’t storing it in a safe and secure manner, who knows, maybe some of it will end up in your daughter’s purse or your son’s backpack, tucked behind the PS4 controller.

There are obviously other things in a home that are potentially dangerous to children too, including prescription pharmaceuticals, alcohol and firearms, but there’s something about the lure and portability of weed — even a pinch can be a big deal — coupled with its relatively new status as an acceptable item in a home that makes it particularly dangerous.

do you know what teens know about marijuana weed?Now I support people owning firearms if they’re responsible about it, and responsible gun ownership includes having trigger locks (at the least) and, ideally, a gun safe. With alcohol, it’s good to keep an eye on things and throw away liquor that you’re never going to drink. And prescription drugs? They turn out to be way more dangerous than you might realize.

Which brings us back to the legal use of retail marijuana. If you’re an adult and you want to use it, good for you. If it helps you with medical issues or if it just gives you a good mellow, that’s all good. You’re an adult, you get to do adult things. But as we move into the holidays, keep in mind that there are going to be more children around than normal, whether it’s your nephew who’s staying with you while your sister’s in town or because you’re hosting dessert after a progressive urban Thanksgiving celebration, now is a good time to assess the storage approach to your marijuana and make sure that every ounce of it is safely locked up and away from curious eyes and prying fingers.

My recommendation? A small safe in your bedroom closet. It’s also a good place to store your prescription drugs and perhaps a firearm or two at the same time. All neatly in one place.

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Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Single Edition Media under the aegis of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. And it’s important stuff, gang.

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